California Supreme Court rules government emails on private devices should be public

California’s highest court Thursday unanimously ruled the public has a right to see emails and text messages about public affairs on government officials’ personal devices, ending a decade-long legal battle that began in San Jose and sets a statewide precedent for records disclosure.

The ruling closes what government watchdogs said was a loophole that let public officials conduct the people’s business privately on personal phones and computers outside the reach of records requests that until now covered only their government-issued devices and accounts.

“We hold that when a city employee uses a personal account to communicate about the conduct of public business, the writings may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act,” the court opinion said. “If public officials could evade the law simply by clicking into a different email account, or communicating through a personal device, sensitive information could routinely evade public scrutiny.”

From: California Supreme Court rules government emails on private devices should be public

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

7 thoughts on “California Supreme Court rules government emails on private devices should be public

  1. The headline is whack. The court can’t rule that government emails “should be” public. It can only offer an opinion that they are or aren’t. This is another reason why we can’t have nice things.

    I agree with the decision, tho.

    Report

  2. From the article, it seems like the type of thing I’d agree with, as long as it doesn’t lead to a situation where accidentally talking about government business on one’s personal email leads to the public’s “right” to read everything on one’s personal email account.

    Report

Comments are closed.